Masked man Ballack up for Valencia battle

Michael Ballack will start for Bayer Leverkusen at Valencia in Champions League Group E on Tuesday as long as he is comfortable with a black, carbon-fibre mask designed to protect his broken nose, coach Robin Dutt said on Monday.

The former Chelsea midfielder and Germany captain sustained the injury in Friday's 1-0 Bundesliga win against Freiburg and Dutt said a final decision on Ballack's participation would be taken after a training session later on Monday.

"If he is happy with the situation then he'll be in the starting XI," Dutt told a news conference at Valencia's Mestalla stadium.

The decisive factor would be whether Ballack was able to head the ball without hindrance, he added.

Leverkusen are second in the group on six points, one behind leaders Chelsea. La Liga side Valencia have two and Racing Genk of Belgium have one.